Shifting paradigms – Equity through parental leave

20.12.2017 Ajete Kërqeli

Democracy for Development Institute launched the paper “Shifting paradigms – Equity through parental leave”.

Research, worldwide, consistently shows that fathers want to spend more time with their new-borns, but the societal pressure to conform to traditional gender roles combined with the perceived impact on their careers, simply leaves fathers without enough incentives to take more leave. In addition D4D’s findings reveal that, in fact 77.8% of all men and women in Kosovo would consider taking parental leave, of which 41.9% of the entire sample (41.8% of men and 45.8% of women) definitely would consider sharing parental leave with their partner. Younger generations 18-24 and those of age 35-44 have expressed a higher rate of readiness to take parental leave – 46.6% and 47.8% respectively.

The maternal leave system in force does not satisfy for the demands of the Kosovar population since it enables leave only for mothers in the format of maternal leave, it does not foresee parental leave, and disables fathers/parents from taking a greater portion of paternity or parental leave. To cater for the demands of the population and align the model based on the EU directives (Directive 2010/18/EU), D4D proposes a scheme of leave where four (4) months are allocated to the mother as maternity leave – 70% of her base salary, which is covered by the employer; one (1) month is allocated to the father as paternity leave- 70% of his base salary which is covered by the employer. Through the scheme proposed, the family gets eight (8) months parental leave, out of which four months are allocated to the mother and four (4) months are allocated to the father. Such a model can help foster gender equality in the framework of labour roles, pay, and participation in the workplace.

This paper was prepared with contributions by: Ardiana Gashi.